Tell us a little about yourself and and what you do.
Hi! I’m Rachel, an interior designer and I own my own business, Rachel Clark Designs. I offer several services such as; upholstery, bespoke draperies, window treatments and have working relationships with painters/contractors/sub contractors to best fit a clients project.
What are your passions? What makes you tick?
I love helping people create a space to love, or love again! I’m a tactile person, as I think many designers are. I love working with various textures and playing with fabrics. Creating various places for your eye to rest in a space is key. I try to focus on special moments that stand out but don’t all compete.
How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced?
I quit my job 3 years in after college as a speech language therapist! It was either get my masters in speech or feed my passion and do what I really loved. With my husbands support I moved forward with design, went back to school and worked. I worked in design and put in a few years at Arhaus furniture in the retail world and then became a mother, trying to manage it all. It wasn’t until I began working at Ambiance owned by Karen Gibson that I started to feel at home in the design world. We offered Lee furniture, in home visits, monthly decor seminars and I assisted with all store operations. It was a magical place that women loved coming to and I loved working there. We also went to market in NYC to find new decor for the store annually. Through Ambiance, I met so many amazing women in Rochester.
What is your biggest regret?
I’m not sure I have any real regrets. I think we learn from everything we do. I do think however, that you need to feed your passion and do what you love.
What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
Give yourself time to grow. It takes time to build experience, relationships & confidence. I’m still learning after 10 years! I actually learn something new each project I’m involved with, which prepares me for the next. Just enjoy what you do, push yourself as much as you want to, but make sure you enjoy it.
(lettering by Lanni Maszerowski)
What inspires you? How do you recharge creatively?
I’ve really learned over the past two years to be more present in this life, take time and love in the moment. Nature inspires me. I love the beach and the beautiful palette of the stones, shells and glass. Sometimes the sky has incredible pale tones and other times it’s vibrant. Travel is also inspiring, seeing different architecture and cities is both energizing for the mind and soul.
Tell us about your creative process.
I get a good sense of what my clients like or want early on. I start collecting ideas/textiles/and pictures of the “look”we want or my vision for them. Sometimes I make mood boards for them which helps to visualize the entire look as a whole.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
I’m so incredibly lucky to have met and worked with so many wonderful clients who have become friends over the years. That’s my favorite part of what I do, meeting new people and getting to know them. Actually, another big part of my job that I love is being able to make my own schedule and be home for my son (my best creation yet!) when I’m needed. I’ve been there for every stage and I feel fortunate to have been able to stay home and work around him.
Name some local creatives that you really admire.
I can honestly say that I admire so many local small business owners and creatives… if you are an entrepreneur and own your own business, I admire you! It takes a lot of time to manage each aspect of a business from billing, accounting, social media, updating your website, taking care of your current clients, all while meeting new ones, answering correspondence and returning phone calls! I’m lucky to know these women, I truly admire their dedication to their work and what they create and offer.
Emerson & Oliver, a best friend operation, both mothers and they are growing & expanding their brand!
Andrea Holland of Andrea Holland Communications, who has a new series of videos/classes on creating your own DIY videos & how to feel confident while communicating about your brand.